The biggest challenge, “The List”.

If you have ever seen the classic sales movie Glen Gary, Glen Ross, you are familiar with the quote “The leads are weak!”. Many times, we tend to dismiss sales teams when they complain about the list as just another excuse for poor performance, however, a well-targeted list it the most important ingredient to a successful outbound telemarketing campaign. Too often marketers look for their channel partners to bridge a gap when they provide poorly targeted lists. Other times they expect the same results from every list segment, which simply is not realistic. Remember, a target-rich list is the first step to a successful outbound telemarketing campaign.

Not only does poor list selection and targeting generate poor results, but it often leads to frustration from prospective customers and call center agents. This frustration can create ill feelings towards your brand or the marketing channel you are using to reach these mis-targeted individuals.

Typically, the best lists to begin testing with are the most recent buyers that can be offered a cross-promotion. However, not every campaign is conducive to a cross-promotion to recent buyers, and one must venture into the world of list acquisition.

One of the many benefits of telemarketing is the flexible nature of the medium. Combine the flexibility with the ability to measure response and you create an environment ripe to test, read, and adjust. Every effort should be made to acquire the best list sources, but even more effort should be made to reacting to the results that each list produces.

1. It has been said: test, test, and test again. Direct marketing is measurable. The only way you will find those hidden gems is to go looking for them. Select from multiple sources, code, and read response. Measure by reading the response against multiple list attributes. Are their correlations between success and the presence of email address, geographical location, or other demographic data points hiding in the list.

2. Years ago directories were a tremendous source of data. Long left behind for other internet sources, directory sources still see high conversion rates.

3. Consider building your own list of prospects through online list building. There are several tools available to leverage data that exists online. Here are a few affordable resources that can prove helpful in building your own list:

• LinkedIn Sales Navigator
• RocketReach
• Uplead

4. Today’s business leaders can be contacted on more than one phone number. Mobile, office direct dial, and office main line phone numbers. Provide your call center vendor with as many possible contact phones for the lead as possible.

5. Find lists that contain your existing customers/clients. Obviously, you won’t be calling these individuals, but if there name is on the list, it’s a good indication that the list is reaching your target buyer.

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